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FiOS TV's Multiscreen Lineup Diverges

Verizon Communications is streaming up to 75 live TV channels to FiOS TV and Internet subscribers on LG Electronics’ Internet-connected TVs and Apple iPad tablets -- but the telco still offers just 26 through Microsoft Xbox 360 consoles and Samsung Smart TVs.

On Wednesday, LG announced that its FiOS TV app for certain models of 2012 Internet TVs and Blu-Ray Disc players is now available. The app lets users access 75 cable channels plus the FiOS' Flex View cross-platform video-on-demand service. That 75-channel lineup -- which does not include any broadcast networks -- is the same one that’s available through the telco’s FiOS Mobile app for iPad, published last week.

Users of the FiOS TV apps for Xbox and Samsung TVs, meanwhile, have a subset of just 26.

Asked about the discrepancy, Verizon spokeswoman Heather Wilner said in an email, “We’re working on expanding the channel lineup on the Xbox. As you know, we have a clear commitment to offering FiOS TV on a variety of platforms (LG, Xbox, iPad, Samsung) and we’ll continue to expand.”

According to industry sources, the different channel lineups are due the different technical capabilities of the respective platforms. The iPad and LG currently have the ability to deliver more channels than Xbox and Samsung given the way the FiOS apps for those devices are implemented, but it’s only a temporary disparity as Xbox and Samsung are working to increase their capacity and close the gap, according to an executive with knowledge of the situation.

The FiOS app for LG (pictured above) was published on the CE company's Smart World service on Nov. 15. LG and Verizon announced plans to bring FiOS TV programming to the CE maker’s devices at the 2012 International CES in January.

The app on LG devices provides search results from across the linear channels and Flex View content. In addition, it includes parental control options to restrict adult-oriented content and set a PIN for any rental and purchases of VOD content.

"As we see more and more consumers adopting the multiscreen universe, LG continues to seek content and alliances that broaden our Smart TV offerings to provide the best experience on whichever device consumers choose to use,” Samuel Chang, vice president of smart TV and innovation for LG Electronics USA, said in a statement.

The FiOS application is available on all 2012 LG Smart TV series (models LM9600, LM8600, LM7600, LM6700, LM6200, LS5700, PM9700, PM6700 and PM4700) and the BP620 LG connected Blu-ray player. Customers must have a subscription to both FiOS TV and Internet. In addition, subscriptions to HBO, Cinemax and EPIX are required to access those channels.

Separately, at the 2012 Cable Show in May, Cablevision Systems demonstrated an HTML5 version of its guide running on LG and Samsung TVs that provided access to the full channel lineup.

The 75 channels available through LG devices and iPads to FiOS customers are: A&E, ABC Family, AMC, Animal Planet, BBC America, BBC World News, BET, Boomerang, Bravo, Cartoon Network, Centric, Cinemax, CMT, CNBC, CNN, Comedy Central, Discovery, Disney Channel, Disney Junior, Disney XD, DIY, E!, Epix, ESPNews, Food Network, Fox Business Network, Fox News, FX, G4, Galavision, H2, Hallmark Channel, HBO, HBO2, HGTV, History, HLN, ID, IFC, Lifetime, Lifetime Movie Network, Military Channel, Military History, MSNBC, MTV, MTV Jams, MTV2, NatGeo Wild, National Geographic Channel, NFL Network, Nick Jr., Nickelodeon, Nicktoons, OWN, Oxygen, Science, Spike TV, Sprout, Style, Syfy, TBS, TCM, TeenNick, The Hub, TLC, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, TV Guide Network, TV Land, TV One, USA Network, VH1, VH1 Soul and We TV.

The 26 FiOS TV channels available to Xbox and Samsung TV owners are: BET, Boomerang, Cartoon Network, Cinemax, CNN, Comedy Central, DIY, ESPNews, Food Network, Hallmark Channel, HBO, HBO 2, HGTV, HD HLN, MTV HD, MTV2, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Spike, TBS, TCM, TNT, Travel Channel, truTV, TV Land and VH1.